Sherry, J., Lucas, K., Greenberg, B., & Lachlan, K. (2006). Video Game Uses and Gratifications as Predicators of Use and Game Preference. Playing video games: Motives, responses, and consequences (pp. 213-224). Mahwah, NJ US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Retrieved July 13, 2009, from PsycINFO database.
(from the chapter) Video games continue to be a highly popular form of entertainment. In 2003, over 239 million computer and video games were sold in the United States, and the video game industry reported sales of over $7 billion (Entertainment Software Association, 2004). According to an industry poll conducted by ESA (2004), 50% of U.S.-Americans play video games, the average age is 29, and 61% of players are male. An Annenberg Public Policy Center survey estimates that video game consoles are in 68% of U.S.-American homes with at least one 2- to 17-year-old and in 75% of homes with two or more children (Woodard & Gridina, 2000). These figures are expected to grow as high-speed broadband Internet access facilitates networked game play. Clearly, video games have emerged as one of the most popular forms of mass mediated entertainment in the United States among a range of people. Despite this popularity, the study of video games is still in its infancy. To date, most video game studies have focused on traditional effects issues, particularly the effects of violent video games on aggression (see Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Funk, 1992; Mediascope, 1996; Sherry, 2001). Many of the questions found in Chaffee’s (1977) 18-cell explication of media effects have gone largely unaddressed. Prominent among these questions are the reasons why people use video games and the gratifications that they receive from them. In this chapter, we explore the reasons that individuals use video games and how those reasons are translated into genre preferences and amount of time devoted to game play from a uses and gratifications perspective. In this chapter, we followed Greenberg’s multimethod approach to developing the set of theoretical traits for video game uses and gratifications. First, we conducted a series of focus groups with young adults to determine reasons for playing video games. From these responses, we developed and tested a uses and gratifications scale. Next, we conducted a survey in order to determine the range of the uses and gratifications traits and how those traits are related to amount of game use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)